For the Long Run

In business, as in life, we try to find the perfect fit. As my fantastic father-in-law used to say, “Find something you love doing; do it, and you will never work another day of your life.” So true. A wise person once told me that the perfect job happens when your inclinations and interests intersect with God’s plan for your life. Located therein will be the “perfect fit.” I think it is often the same with marriages that last.Hawaii Couple

I remember watching my mother’s marriages and those of many of my friends and knowing that the relationships they were in were just not for me. Not wrong for them, necessarily, but not right for me.

You see, I have this odd view of marriage. I don’t think it should be a lot of work.

In fact, in dating relationships my motto was, “If it is this hard now, it is not likely to get easier and this is not the one for me.” Marriage was definitely optional in my opinion and I wasn’t willing to settle for less than a pretty darned ideal situation.

My husband came into my life in 1985 and just fit. Things were not completely easy at first since he wanted children and I was not sure I would ever want them, but once we jumped that hurdle I realized I had won the marriage lottery. He gets me, wants me, loves me in spite of my many flaws, supports me in everything I attempt, and makes me laugh even in the darkest and hardest of times. I love him, respect him, find him endlessly fascinating and brilliant and am still very attracted to him. No wonder we are celebrating our twenty-fourth anniversary today.

Why do things work so well between us?

I wish I knew the magic formula so I could share it with my daughters, but the reality is, I don’t. But there are some things we learned along the way.

  • Make sure you have common values and expectations of each other. This does not just happen; it takes communication and we went so far as to write out our expectations and then compare them.
  • Chemistry is important and sexual attraction is not to be underestimated, but those things can ebb and flow as you go through different stages of your life; genuine friendship and respect is forever.
  • Dad’s advice on our wedding day – “Never call each other names.  You can’t take them back.”
  • Cherish your time and intimacy together and guard it like the treasure it is. Don’t give it away to the job, the kids, or the hobbies. It is another thing you simply can’t get back and it is what renews your connection again and again without any effort at all.
  • Make your common faith a part of your life together. It is often what you can turn to in times of stress or tragedy and can keep the bonds together when circumstances might otherwise rip them apart.

That’s it. Wisdom for the day…a very special day. I would marry this man again in a heartbeat, and that is a wonderful thing to be able to say after a quarter of a century of knowing and loving him.

Happy Anniversary, my love, and here’s to going for the gold.

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